Michael Prestera

Amy Prestera wasn't yet born when her grandfather, Michael Prestera, was killed in the crash.

"I've heard he was wonderful, and I've heard about his efforts and his energy," she told The Herald-Dispatch in November 1997. Prestera was a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates when he died.

"People who don't know much about this, or who didn't have family in it, just don't know the significance of it," Prestera said. "It's one of the most important days of my life and the lives of those families of all the victims."

Aside from his passion for Marshall football, he was heavily involved with the university and the greater Huntington community. His 55-year-old son, Michael Prestera, who was 20 when the crash occurred, said his father was among many dedicated Huntingtonians whose lives ended too soon.

"To me, it's a celebration of who they were and how they lived," he said of the annual memorial service at the Marshall Memorial Student Center plaza. "It's remembering what they meant, not necessarily how they died. ... There is so much effect these people did have within the community."

Barry Nash

Four sisters of Barry Nash, who was one of the 37 football players killed in the crash, attended the memorial ceremony in 1998. They were Sheila Nash Foster, Sandra Merritt, Donna Flowers and Mary Wallace.

"He's still very much alive," Foster said of her brother. "We still talk about him. Our grandchildren feel like they know him."

The pain after the crash was horrible for Nash's mother, his sisters said, because their 18-year-old brother, Paul, had died of a heart condition nearly four years to the day before the crash.

Not only that, but Nash's body was one of six that could not be positively identified after the crash.

"Our mother screamed for a body to bury beside Paul," Wallace said.

Nash and the other five unidentified victims are buried in a common grave in Spring Hill Cemetery in Huntington.

Mike Blake

Debbie Goheen of Huntington, whose brother, Mike Blake, was one of the players killed in the crash, did not attend the ceremony in 1998 because it was scheduled for the day before the anniversary of the crash.

"I wish there'd been a little more advance notice if it wasn't going to be held on the 14th," Goheen said. She said she hopes the memorial services will never stop, and will always be conducted on Nov. 14.

"Some people made some major sacrifices," Goheen said. "The healing needs to continue."

Frank Loria

Frank Loria Jr. was born one month after his dad, then-assistant coach Frank Loria, died in the crash. Frank Loria was 23.

"Everything I do is to honor him," Loria Jr. said of his dad.

His visit to Huntington in 2000 from his New Jersey home was his first ever.

"I always wanted to know more," he said. "It's opened a lot of feelings. I don't know if it's better. I wish I had that relationship with my father."

He watched the "Ashes to Glory" documentary Sunday with family in Clarksburg.

"We sat there in total silence," he said.

Charlie Kautz

Huntington resident Lucianne Kautz Call's father, then-Marshall athletic director Charlie Kautz, died in the crash.

Call admitted it was difficult to attend the service in 2000. But, she's glad she did.

"It was fabulous," she said.

Call still mourns her father, but has come a long way. In fact, she now is a flight attendant with U.S. Airways and flies into and out of Tri-State Airport. One of her dreams is to see a regional airport built.

Parker Ward

The silencing of the Memorial Fountain at Marshall University always helps Mary Plyde Ward Bell accept the tragedy that happened to her family and so many others in 1970.

"When the water is turned off, there's a stillness and a calmness," Bell said at the memorial service in 2003. "It's a peaceful acceptance." Bell's husband Parker Ward, a Marshall supporter, left behind his wife and four children.

The university and the community came together to support the families, especially the children, Bell said.

"Some of the players would come to the homes, and the Athletic Department would provide packets for the child with little recordings of Marshall songs," she said. "We were invited to be a part of ceremonies and functions. We were never forgotten."

Dr. H.D. "Pete" and Courtney Proctor

John Proctor, of Huntington, and his siblings lost their parents, Dr. H.D. "Pete" and Courtney Proctor. Proctor was 5 years old and can remember being told his parents were gone. He, too, has always felt the community's support, he said at the memorial service in 2003.

"In a way, I lost my parents, but I probably gained 80 or 90," he said. "Other kids of the crash would say the same thing."

Murrill and Helen Ralsten

John and Carol Ralsten traveled from Parkersburg to Huntington for one purpose: to celebrate family.

John Ralsten's brother, Murrill Ralsten, and his wife Helen, died 35 years ago in what has been called "the darkest night" in Marshall University's and Huntington's history. Although the memorial ceremony has taken place each year since the crash, the service in 2005 was the Ralstens' first.

"We've just come to honor them," Carol Ralsten said. "It's so nice to see that people haven't forgotten."

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